tv BBC World News America PBS May 18, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT
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>> this is "bbc world news america." world leaders gather in washington for economic talks as the problems with the eurozone takes center stage. facebook makes its stock market debut, but at the end of the day, or enough buyers liking what they saw. sasha baron cohen gives a rare interview as himself. >> i enjoy being anonymous. >> will you enjoy it not be an anonymous? >> no, not as much. >> welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. this weekend, the problems of the eurozone are coming to america's shores as president
obama hosts the g8 summit on side of washington. he met with the new french president, francois hollande, at the white house today. they reiterated their conviction that greece must stay in the single currency. >> it just a week in the job and the new man is in the eye of the storm, being sidestepped in the white house. when it comes to the european economy at least, president obama might have had themselves a new friend. they are both men of the center- left. both want to stimulate a new debate on the need for economic growth. >> it is important to improve the discussion later this evening and tomorrow with the other g8 leaders about how we can manage a responsible approach to put fiscal consolidation that is coupled with a strong growth agenda. >> he said what happened to the
eurozone was of an important -- was important to the whole world and the french president added that both had a message for the people of greece. >> on the greek, eurozone situation, we share the same views. greece must stay in the eurozone and we must do all we can to make sure that. >> then, a light relief. president obama teased 30 years ago that francois hollande had come to study, the special subjects, fast food. >> tease barkers go very well the french fries. -- cheeseburgers go very well with french fries. president obama has some advice on how to solve the crisis, but he says that it is up to the european. he would like them to focus on growth and jobs, not just austerity, a stimulus package for greece, a strong message to the markets from the central
bank. he does not want to spend any american taxpayer money. the money will have to come from germany. angela merkel will be under a lot of pressure. there is a confusion about the european plants. the greeks claim that mrs. merkel has been pushing them to hold a referendum. germany says that is false. as the head of the commission arrived in washington, another said that they were working on an exit strategy for greece. another firmly denied it. >> decisive action is needed by the eurozone. they cannot go on kicking the can down the road. decisive action, decisive about greece, decisive about the farm for. >> a leaders are not insured -- are not sure, but they think that with new faces around the table, the dynamic in the room
might change. >> far from the economic woes of europe, facebook updated its status to public company as its shares made their debut on the stock exchange. trading got off to a brisk start, but at the end of the day the price settled near its initial offering of $30 a share. >> facebook's army of employees in menlo park california had plenty to celebrate. the gift from the stock-market, a reference to mark zuckerberg's preference for wearing hoodies. he can afford many more. he is worth an estimated $19 billion. >> on behalf of everyone at facebook, i want to say to all of the people that use facebook, thank you. let's do this.
>> with that, the company worth nothing 8 years ago made its stock market debut. on the other side the country, where trading started, there was also a sense of optimism. >> everyone uses facebook. this is social networking, connecting old friends. >> they are doing well and they will continue to do well. they put myspace out of business. i think it is a good investment. as we don't use it but we would buy a share. >> no american company has been so highly valued at the time of its debut. now that facebook shares have began trading here in new york, that value is about to be tested by investors. facebook was lost in february of 2004, a year later, viacom, tried to buy it for $75 million. in 2006, yahoo! offered a billion dollars.
today, it is a valued at 100 times that figure. that is more than amazon and disney. the last time a share offering crated this side was google in 2004. how do the two stack up? squads a lot of the bulls will say this -- >> a lot of the bulls will say this will be bigger than google but right now they are 1/10 the size of google. google has more cash flow. google is growing faster. i don't think that this is a safe assumption to make. >> facebook share price ended the trading much where it started, are around $38. who knows where it will go from here. >> what will happen in afghanistan after the departure of foreign troops? that is the main question facing nato leaders as they prepare to meet in chicago over the weekend. a possible answer might be found where afghan forces are in
ch ige of security. our reporter reported from the region back in the days when it was controlled by the taliban, he reflects on its future. >> a moment of calm on a city on edge. it is a new beginning for this city. afghan forces are now in charge. there are signs of a boom, the taliban are still in the shadows. i take a ride in one of their signature rickshaws to see a city that i last visited seven years ago. i discover that it is still in place of mixed fortunes. rehearsals at the city's only movie studio. security has allowed more
filmmaking. but it is still a taliban target. the director fears a return to the past when nato was gone. >> i am 100% concerned. even now, the taliban are sending letters, warning us not to make films. we head out of the city, to the mountains along the border with pakistan with an escort of armed police. this is taliban, not nato country. the fields are again blooming with opium poppies, the source for most of the heroin on britain's streets. the government would like to destroy some of the poppy fields. we have no choice but to grow, claims this farmer. we are very poor and we don't get any help.
but a deal has been done and the eradication team will not go too far. this looks like a serious effort to clear opium poppies but this is just one small area. all around here, there are hundreds of other fields full of opium poppy. they will be left untouched. all of the signs are that the farmers are planning to grow even more opium poppies in next year because they are worried about the future after nato pulls out. soon, nato and other vehicles will be heading home through this border region. they promised their support will keep flowing. many afghans feel that they are being left on their own. >> today, the french president francois hollande made a point of reminding president obama that decamping france -- he
campaigned in france on the promise of withdrawing his combat troops from afghanistan by the end of this year. for more on that prospect at the nato summit, i spoke to the former u.s. ambassador to nato who joined us from new york. thank you for coming in. france is not alone in wanting to bring its troops home early before the 2014 deadline. is president obama going to hold the line on this? >> i certainly hope so. all of the nato countries went into afghanistan together in the summer of 2003 and the idea was to leave together in 2014. if france decides to leave early, if president hollande honors his campaign commitment, that will really be sending a signal to other european countries that perhaps they can leave. that will affect the battle on the ground against the taliban.
secondly, there is an attempt to try to negotiate a peace agreement between the afghan government and the taliban. if the taliban believes that the allies are heading to the exits, they will have very little incentive to negotiate. this is quite an important problem to resolve. >> people are concerned that even if the troops stay until 2014, the taliban will get a foothold and al qaeda will come back. is this likely? >> this is a problem that has to be watched and that is why president obama made his trip to kabul two weeks ago and signed a long-term agreement with the government. their pledge to keep forces in the country after the withdrawal of nato forces in 2014. you know about the terrorist problem on the border. that will not go away. the afghan government will need to have the capacity on the ground to strike at those terror
groups in a counter-terrorism capacity. >> president obama has tried hard to build partnerships and to lead from behind. as libya shows, there's not much that nato can do without the u.s. can america afford to take a back seat? >> i don't think so. i think that the u.s. has to lead the alliance. that has been their role since the alliance was created in 1949 to fight the cold war. the united states is so much more powerfully militarily than the other countries. britain under prime minister cameron and france under president sarkozy showed tremendous leadership in libya. they led us to that victory, so i think britain and france deserve some credit for that. >> that was former u.s. ambassador to nato on the challenges ahead for the alliance. you are watching "bbc world news america," still to come -- you have heard about china's
economic boom but its population is aging faster than any other nation and that could put the brakes on. in just a few days, the dominican republic will elect a new president. as we found, there are some young politicians already making a real difference when it comes to getting results. >> there are plenty of smiles now, but conditions at this school in this dominican town are primitive. the children falling ill, even dying. it is water that is the problem, either it is contaminated by sewage or just is not there at all. courtesy of a 15-year-old politician, a new water tank has arrived. i talked to my fellow counselors because i could not put up with these children have the disease is, he says. i saw on that adults could not
fix it, so i decided to fix it through the municipal youth cou ncil. the town council is elected by children, for children. there are groups like this all over the country. even if they're not part of the official government, their power is real. it is in exchange, says the council president. they learn from our experience, we learn from their innocence. it is that in a sense that they hope can have a lasting impact on dominican politics. innocence hat in that they hope can have a lasting impact. they might even be able to teach adults about getting out of the vote. an average of 85% of children and teenagers have voted in all collections. the immediate effect, organizers say, are more projects that
would have fallen through the cracks in adult politics. that is no easy task. >> as time it closes in on the global economy's top spot, they are set to catch up with long established industrial powers in other areas that could slow its growth. thanks to plummeting birth rates, its population is getting older at a rapid rate. 30 years after they implemented their one child policy, china faces an aging crisis. >> this is one of the fastest- aging places on earth. in shanghai, there are as many as twice as many old people as there are young. breakneck economic growth in chinese cities have been
accompanied by an astonishingly rapid aging of their population. china is growing old at a rate unprecedented in human history. this could bring the march out of poverty to an end. this woman spent her working life in a small factory. her husband was a tailor. they have been married for 53 years. now, she has alzheimer's. every day, he bathes her, dresses her, and brings her here for lunch. >> before she got sick, she was full of life. she loved opera. now, she does not know what is going on. life has become difficult. >> providing for the elderly will create a massive drain on china's wealth. >> a lot of people are not
prepared with the pension system and social security. people are worried. what will be the case? what can they do? >> traditionally in chinese families, this did not used to be a problem. the elderly were cared for at home. as the birth rate has declined, there are now not enough of the younger generation to look after the old. by the year 2015, 1/3 of the chinese population will be over 60. -- by the year 2050. and this huge imbalances caused by the one child program. having too few young people is a serious threat in itself. thai nepos economic engine has been fueled by a seamlessly -- economic engine has
been fueled by a seemingly endless supply of cheap and young labor. as the supply runs out, then the chinese ability to keep on growing would be seriously undermined. in addition, many migrant workers have moved back to their hometowns to care for their elderly parents. in the factory belt around shanghai, there is now an acute labor shortage. it is tough to find workers because the cost of labor keeps increasing. workers are asking for more pay and better conditions. we're becoming uncompetitive. it is more affordable for companies to move from thailand -- to move from china to thailand and vietnam. all of this means is that the one child policy is beginning to loosen, and china is in the vanguard. young women are instructed on contraception or abortion, but infertility and how to conceive more
successfully. in chinese terms, this is something of a revolution. >> we hope that people will have a second child. we are offering parenting classes as well as fertility clinics. if you are an only child and you marry someone who was also an only child, you have always been allowed to have two children. now, we're trying to encourage everyone to do so. china is facing up to the fact that it is aging, and at a rate that few societies ever experienced. they will have to find a way to pay for the costs of aging without the economic wealth of young people. there is a special phrase for why they worry -- china, they say, might become too old to get rich. >> a demographic time bomb that could hurt tie nepos economic development. the olympic flame has arrived in
england tonight at the start of an epic journey across britain. football star david beckham got the honor of lighting the torch which over the next 70 days would cover 8,000 miles before arriving at the opening ceremony. the relay starts at the southwestern tip of england at cornwall. that is where our correspondent was today. i asked him what the weather outlook was like and if it even matters. >> the forecast is good. don't worry. i spoke to the weatherman about an hour ago and he said, don't worry, it will be dry. as long as it is dry, you don't do any complaining. we had this strange situation earlier where the plane was taking off from greece, which you would think would be boiling hot, and there is terrible rain and the weather was generally not great. over here in cornwall, it was
all disguise and gentle breezes. the weather can change quite a lot, so let's not count our chickens. -- over in cornwall, it was all blue skies and gentle breezes. >> this is about showcasing britain. how significant is it that is starts in cornwall? >> it is very significant. this is significant for the people who live here. actually, the torch relay performs a much bigger role. this is funded by the u.k. government but it is not the u.k. which is hosting the olympics, it is london. there is a real concern that resentment might grow 10 billion pounds has been spent on some games which are being hosted by one city. the torch relay is crucial in the eyes of the organizers in getting the rest of the country on board. this torch relay, it goes to all four nations within the uk.
this is absolutely vital. they are emphasizing that no one will be more than one hour away from the torch relay. if you can hear the helicopter, that is another helicopter going through their rehearsals ahead of tomorrow morning. there is a great deal of attention here focused on land's end. >> i assume you will not be running after the torch yourself. >> thank you. >> he has been ali g, borat and bruno. in preparation for his next movie, he toured television studios as the dictator. we sat down with the british comedian for a rare interview as himself. >> the cannes film festival, 2012. sasha baron cohen is in town
with a new character and film to promote. he rarely gives interviews as himself. he has now decided to make a personal appearance. why? >> that is a very good question. probably a mistake. i will tell you why i have not done it. basically, there was a chance that the interview would be seen and withdraw consent. now, i really don't have to do that. >> i am for free press, fair elections, and equal rights for women. [laughter] i cannot say that. >> his film opens this week. he plays a dictator with an enormous ego. >> i had always found colonel gaddafi hilarious. >> i highly recommend a visit to the empire state building before you or one of your cousin's takes it down. >> i think the word is ludicrous. they are vicious and yet
ludicrous. dictators, because they are all powerful end up becoming kind of larger than life absurd characters. quest talking of which, -- >> talking of which ali g, the character with which he made his name. >> you want to know how to make this country better? keeping the real. >> they can expose things that 8 documentary finds difficult. i remember the first time that i went out as borat i said it [ speaking with foreign accent] we go to the parks and we hunt the jew. [normal voice] and the response
was [speaking with high class accent] oh, yes, hunt the jew. >> not everyone enjoys his works. those that don't, will be able to put a face to the name. >> i enjoyed being anonymous. >> will you enjoy not being anonymous? >> no, and not as much. >> that brings the show to a close but remember, you can get constant updates on our website. to reach me and the rest of our team, be sure to check out our twitter feet. for all of us here at "bbc world news america," thank you for watching and have a good weekend.
>> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers use their expertise in global finance t guide you to the business strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended global network to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we dr foo you? >> "bbc world is america close kcet losefoed